Dominique de Leon
Building DoomGuy: Rip and Tear Your Hair Out
Counter to the title of this post, Doom Guy was the least stressful cosplay I have fabricated in a long time. That has a lot to do with how much I absolutely love this game and the Praetor Suit’s design. The Praetor suit was a dream cosplay of mine that I never thought I would be skilled enough to do justice, just like my Daedric armor and my Enclave armor before that.
More than that, I think that these costumes were easier, mentally, for me to build because I never forced myself to work on it. At one point I took a month long break on the armor sets because I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to make these armor sets the best ones that I had ever made, even if that meant rebuilding the same piece of armor over and over until I was finally happy with it.
All of the armor was created with TNT Cosplay Supply foam, craft foam, and glued together with Weldwood Contact Cement.
I tend to start a cosplay with the most fun part to build, which for me is the usually helmet, and then lose interest as I build the rest of the armor. To help avoid that I started with my typically least favorite part of the armor, the shoes.
First of all, building the boots would not have been possible without the help of EvilTed‘s awesome tutorial on platform shoes. So a big thank you to him! You can watch that video HERE if you are interested.
Changing the armor from male to female was an obvious choice to me, especially since I was building the normal male version for Zach anyways. I still wanted to stay true to the original design so the only cosmetic difference is the breastplate. I gave myself a breastplate with a “uniboob” design vs individual breastplates for a few reasons. First is that it stays more true to the original design and second because the internet would never shut up about how having individual amor plates for each breast would increase the chance that a weapon would deflect into my heart. I know, I know. It’s cosplay and not meant to be functional, BUT I want it to look as realistic and functional as possible.
Sew, We Meet Again…
Most of the time I stay as far away from sewing as possible. Anyone who has been around me while I’m working with a sewing machine never looks at me the same again. You might even go as far to say that I have a dislike for it more powerful than the blast of 1,000 BFGs. This build was no different. However, I wanted to be authentic to the design and sew the leather pieces that show up throughout the Praetor Suit. One of the other reasons that I decided to recreate these sewn pieces of the suit instead of just making them out of foam was because my Grandma had found a roll of pleather that she gifted to me that was the PERFECT color! Thanks Omi! I probably would not have gone out of my way to source an accurate material as it would have cost quite a bit.
I was able to recreate this pleated look in the pleather by sandwiching two pieces of pleather over the top of couch foam. The areas where I stitched over the pleather were very flat while the other areas were nice and puffy. I sketched out the path that I would sew on top of with a pencil before I started sewing. I then was able to weather the pleather with acrylic paints while simultaneously covering up my pencil marks and hiding stitches.
As many of you know, painting and weathering is my favorite part of a build. In my opinion, painting and weathering is the most important part of making cosplay armor. A poor paint job can make a great build look bad but great paint job can make a mediocre build look fantastic. The amount of time you put into your paint job will how in your final product.
I seal all of my armor with several coats of black platidip as a primer. Then I spray paint the desired color on the armor. In this case I did three coats of Satin, Moss Green Rustolium paints. Then I toned back the green with blacks and brown acrylics to dirty it up. From this point I dry brush my favorite metallic silver paint, Jaquards Lumineer Silver, across the top of all of the armor to give it the illusion of being metal. And finally, I will go back in with a metallic silver paint pen and add dings and scratches on the armor.
The Details Matter
The finishing touches on this costume are what really bring it together.
One of those details for this build are the small screws that the Praetor Suit has throughout the armor. Now, in the past I have used googly eyes to act as rivets and screws, but for me authenticity was a very important theme for me throughout this build. So I choose to add real screws to the armor. Each armor set has over 50 metal screws pushed into the foam.
Scattered throughout the armor are small, usually white, decals. I was able to replicate these by drawing the design onto masking tape and taping that stencil onto the armor. From there I would dry brush some white paint into it to keep it looking battle damaged and faded.
Lights! They are fun and an easy way to make armor more impressive. On this build I just found a perfect size and shape LED bike light! It took the hassle out of trying to wire up a custom circuit.
FUNCTIONAL POCKETS!!! Unless you are a cosplayer yourself who has had the pleasure of needing a handler on the convention floor, then you have no idea how big of a deal this is. It was very convenient that Doom Guy has a utility belt and I slightly modified it to be able to carry my phone, business cards, chapstick, water and a speaker for music.
As I stated above, one of the pockets caries a speaker for music. Not only is it fun to have *LOUD MICK GORDON NOISES* following you around but it sets the mood for people who are nearby. Zach and I love carrying music around with us when we are in our Fallout cosplays as well. It’s so much more immersive to have your theme song playing in the background and personally it helps me get into character.
Thank you all for following and showing support for this build! It really helped keep me going and I continue to surprise myself with what I can accomplish.